MARTIN, Tenn. – The No.9 ranked and No.1 seeded South Dakota State equestrian team finished the first day of the UT-Martin/Independent Tournament with a 9-7 win over the unranked and No. 4 seeded New Mexico State Aggies.
The win boosts the Jacks record to 7-6 on the season.
South Dakota State moves on in the championship bracket of the tournament on Saturday against unranked and No. 2 seeded UT-Martin. The host Skyhawks team won their competition on Friday over the unranked and No. 3 seeded Fresno State Bulldogs.
“We rode well in every event,” head coach Megan Rossiter said. “It was great to beat a team we lost to just a few weeks ago, and we hope to maintain focus through tomorrow against UT-Martin.”
The hunt seat team tied their two events, with a 2-2 finish in both equitation over fences and equitation on the flat. The western team won their horsemanship event 3-1 and the reiners pulled through at the end of the day to tie the Aggies at 2-2.
“This was a good win for the ladies and a great confidence boost for tomorrow’s championship round” assistant coach Kamerra Brown said.
Junior Santana Wright and sophomore Jordan Goodall earned points for the Jackrabbits over fences, while senior Megan Schiffman and freshman Marielle Golden scored points in the flat arena for the hunt seat team.
In the western arena, senior Kelsey Champagne, junior Shelby Webb, and sophomore Lexus Hoffman won their points in the horsemanship event with junior Laura Dunlavy and senior Jana Basler bringing in the final points for the day to secure the team’s win.
“When you’re nervous and the show is down to the wire, the difference maker is hearing your teammates cheering for you, and knowing in your heart that they believe in you 100 percent,” Basler said of winning the final competition-winning point of the day. “That’s why I love this team.”
Saturday’s competition begins at 10 a.m., with both the championship and consolation brackets running simultaneously. The day starts with the fences competition in the indoor arena, with horsemanship beginning first in the outdoor area, weather permitting.